What about happiness?

Pinak Pani Baruah

– That girl got ninety-nine percent marks! She is a brilliant student without a doubt.

– That man has more than a billion in his bank account, he is rich and lucky. If he is still not happy then he is definitely a fool.

– The batsman averages more than sixty. Obviously he will win us every match.

Yes, numbers do give you a great idea about someone’s quality. But aren’t we obsessed with them, especially when it comes to our education system? In an age-old system where memory power thrashes creativity so badly numbers are the last thing you will want to use while comparing students. And why should we compare in the first place? Every student is special in his own way. Aren’t they? But alas, in the end, all depends on a piece of paper with some meaningless numbers.

Numbers often play tricks with us. They show us a picture that we want to see but hide the picture that we should see. It may tell you how much property someone has or how much scholarship some student is going to get. But it has and will always fail in measuring the real treasures in our lives. For example-happiness. Can numbers measures happiness? Let me give you a few examples-

 A billionaire businessman went bankrupt and now has just a few million; a poor farmer who never had more than a few thousand rupees in his bank account won a lottery and now suddenly has a few lakh rupees. Who is happily rich? Who thinks he has lots of money? The answer would be the farmer, right?

The world is full of rich (in terms of money) but depressed people. The reverse is also true. That’s why the question comes to mind, is money the right parameter to make comparisons?  The same amount of money can value much differently in the case of different people. On the other hand we, especially in India, always neglect the happiness index. There are many countries like our neighbor Bhutan, who give ample importance to the same. And why should not they? According to the world happiness report 2020; India is ranked 144th among 156 countries, way below our neighbor countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Imagine a world full of rich people and then imagine a world full of happy people. Which is the world that you will want to be a part of? Sadly in India, most of our goals are money-oriented. When we set a life goal we hardly ask ourselves whether we will be happier or not after fulfilling that particular goal? Most of the time, the aim is money. Yes, money is important but never at the expense of happiness. Our soul, the soul with which we landed on this earth doesn’t care about money. Despite it, if we give more importance to money than everything else then it will definitely create emptiness in our minds. That’s why from my point of view while setting all our life goals we should aim towards making ourselves happier. Because being happy is a rare thing nowadays. Don’t believe me? Just look around and don’t get fooled by the fake smiles. We all are now experts in that.

So, try hard to make yourselves happy but never use shortcuts. Thrive for long-lasting happiness. And in the process make others happy too. Because giving others joy will eventually count double in your quota. And most importantly how can we remain happy if our friends are not? So, try to be happy and try making others too.–

Pinak Pani Baruah
Assistant Professor
Dept. of mechanical engineering
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